Researchers have found that visual imagery is simply automatic. Participants were able to identify photos of objects faster if they’d just read a sentence that described the object visually, suggesting that when we read a sentence, we automatically bring up pictures of objects in our minds.
Stanford University researchers have found that close literary reading in particular gives your brain a workout in multiple complex cognitive functions, while pleasure reading increases blood flow to different areas of the brain. They concluded that reading a novel closely for literary study and thinking about its value is an effective brain exercise, more effective than simple pleasure reading alone.
In Gideon we combine vocabulary study with fiction and non-fiction comprehension to utilize all different kinds of content to develop better readers! We always encourage reading for fun by having your children pick out library books that are interesting to them.
Stories have a beginning, middle, and end, and that’s a good thing for your brain. With this structure, our brains are encouraged to think in sequence, linking cause and effect. The more you read, the more your brain is able to adapt to this line of thinking. Neuroscientists encourage parents to take this knowledge and use it for children, reading to kids as much as possible. In doing so, you’ll be instilling story structure in young minds while the brain has more plasticity, and the capacity to expand their attention span.
Many teachers and homeschooling moms report that young children especially love stories that tell the events of a day in order as they can relate to it and helps them make sense of their own activities and day.
Not everyone is a natural reader. Poor readers may not truly understand the joy of literature, but they can be trained to become better readers. And in this training, their brains actually change. In a six-month daily reading program from Carnegie Mellon, scientists discovered that the volume of white matter in the language area of the brain actually increased. Further, they showed that brain structure can be improved with this training, making it more important than ever to adopt a healthy love of reading.
This is probably our favorite one as we believe any child has the potential to advance as high as desired. Dr. Ben Carson (featured in our last blog post) was a failing 5th grade student whose mother started to make him and his brother write two book reports a week. At first he hated it (as most children do to new work!) but later grew to enjoy the books which turned his academics around in 1 1/2 years. He later earned a scholarship to Yale and became the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital at 33. All that extra reading changed his BRAIN which may have changed his LIFE course.
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